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Ridgewood defeats East Canton

By WALTER DOERSCHUK The Press-News Published: September 30, 2016 10:00 AM

Defensive struggles are nothing new to the East Canton High School football team this season.

The Hornets won a 12-7 battle against Rootstown in week three earlier this year.

They were in another one last Friday against Ridgewood. The Generals prevailed, though, in a 14-4 Inter-Valley Conference victory.

It may have been the strongest defensive performance of the season by the Hornets against one of two undefeated teams in the conference. Garaway is the other.

East Canton held Ridgewood's offensive to its lowest output of the season.

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The undefeated Generals had scored 45, 42 and 31 points in weeks 2, 3 and 4.

The Hornets limited Ridgewood to 148 total yards while the Hornets gained 157.

The two teams combined to punt 16 times.

Kaden Smith gave the Generals a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run. Jhett Slusser's 17-yard touchdown carry in the second quarter increased the lead to 14-0.

East Canton's defense forced two safeties in the second half to get on the board. The first was when it tackled Slusser in the end zone in the third quarter. The other was on a punt in the fourth.

Senior tailback Travis Nelson led the Hornets' offensive attack with 72 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Mitch Mitchell threw for 75 yards in the loss.

The Hornets (2-3, 0-2) face a third tough conference test in a row this week at Sandy Valley.

East Canton will look to stop a balanced Cardinal offense led by quarterback Nelson Mozden and tailback Dray Bracken.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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